Emily Burton and American visit Navy on Friday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
April 10, 2012
Center Valley, Pa. -- After clinching a berth in the Patriot League Tournament last week, Navy can lock up the No. 1 seed and right to host the event when it welcomes American to Annapolis on Friday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
The Mids are a perfect 4-0 in the Patriot League, two games in the loss column ahead of five teams in the pack. Navy only needs one win in its last two games to earn its first outright Patriot League regular-season title and host the League Tournament for the first time. The two-time defending champion Mids are in the postseason for the fifth time in as many seasons as a Patriot League program.
While Navy's 8-6 win over Colgate on Saturday gave separation for the Mids, it combined with Lafayette's 13-12 triumph at American and Holy Cross' 20-5 thumping of Bucknell to provide chaos to the rest of the Patriot League standings. American sits alone in second place at 3-2, but the Eagles are tied in the loss column with Colgate, Lehigh, Holy Cross and Lafayette who all come in at 2-2 in the Patriot League.
After the showdown on Friday, the four teams at 2-2 will square off in key games on Saturday. Colgate is at Lafayette while Holy Cross travels to Lehigh, with the matchups separated by about 15 miles and each beginning at 1 p.m.
All five of the two-loss squads control their own destiny to claim one of the three remaining berths in the Patriot League Tournament. American and Colgate would each seal a spot with a win this weekend, while the other three teams can all strengthen their position greatly with a win.
Patriot League Notebook
Navy Back in Patriot League Tournament, Sets Sights on No. 1 Seed
Navy qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the fifth time in as many seasons as a League member when it defeated Colgate 8-6 on Saturday. With one win in its final two games, the two-time defending champion Mids can accomplish one of the only feats that has eluded them: host the Patriot League Tournament. Navy plays for its first outright and second overall regular-season title when it hosts American on Friday at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Mids could lose Friday and still clinch the outright regular-season crown and No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with a win at Lehigh on April 21.
Five Teams Battling for Three Spots
Five teams enter the weekend tied in the loss column for second place in the Patriot League, and those squads each have designs on one of the final three berths in the Patriot League Tournament. American and Colgate can both clinch a spot with a win on the road this weekend, while Lafayette, Lehigh and Holy Cross can strengthen their chances with a win as well. Head-to-head matchups could play a large role, with Colgate at Lafayette and Holy Cross at Lehigh on Saturday and the Leopards visiting the Crusaders next week. So far, Colgate is 2-1 against the other teams with two League losses, while American stands at 2-2, Lafayette and Holy Cross are 1-1 and Lehigh is 1-2.
Leopards Enjoying Best Season in a Decade
Lafayette is trying to make it back to the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2004, and is putting together its best overall season since winning the most recent of its 10 Patriot League titles in 2002. Lafayette's win at American on Saturday gave the Leopards a 9-5 mark for the season, their highest win total since going 13-7 in 2002. The nine wins are just one behind Lafayette's total from 2008-11. The Leopards have two wins in Patriot League play for the first time since going 3-3 in 2006, and their current three-game win streak is also the longest since that season. The Leopards have been led by a pair of statistical standouts, as junior Addie Godfrey leads the Patriot League and is eighth in the country with 3.50 goals per game and sophomore Ana White tops the nation with 6.43 draw controls per contest.
Two of three Patriot League games were won by the road team on Saturday, but overall home field advantage has been a big difference for League squads this season. Ten of the 15 Patriot League games have been won by the home team, with Navy, Holy Cross and Lehigh perfect at home in League play. Navy is an unblemished 7-0 at home for the season, while Lehigh and Holy Cross each stand at 5-1 on their home field and American is 6-2. Patriot League teams are 33-15 on their home fields this season, with a 23-10 mark in non-League action.
Winning Record in Non-League Action?
Patriot League teams improved to a cumulative 33-29 against non-League foes when Lehigh beat a tough New Hampshire squad 11-8 on Saturday. The success has been especially impressive of late, as the seven teams are a combined 24-14 against non-League foes since the beginning of March. There are 11 non-League games left on the schedule, including five in the next two days. That slate features Lehigh hosting No. 13 Penn State Wednesday.
Checking the Patriot League Record Book
As the season winds down, a number of players are beginning to climb up the Patriot League career and single-season record book. Navy junior Jasmine DePompeo, the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and a candidate for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top player in Division I, is sixth in League history with 84 career assists and seventh with 35 this season. Lafayette sophomore Ana White is shooting up the draw control charts, as she is third all-time (179) and second for a single-season (90), only 12 off the Patriot League record. White is holding off Navy freshman Loren Generi (88) on the single-season chart, and is behind Colgate senior Courtney Miller (184) for second place on the all-time list. Miller is on course to conclude her career in multiple categories in the League record book. In addition to draw controls, she is already 10th in career assists (67) and her 211 points place Miller just one away from the top 10. The senior standout is also within six goals of the Patriot League top 10. She is trying to become just the fourth player in Patriot League history to finish in the top 10 in career points, goals and assists.
Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Weekly Awards
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SARA HENNESSEY, HOLY CROSS So., M, Winchester, Mass.
Hennessey exploded for a career-high seven goals, the most by a Crusader in nearly 10 years, to lead Holy Cross to a 20-5 win over Bucknell on Saturday. She also added two ground balls, two draw controls and a caused turnover in the game. The seven goals were the most for a Holy Cross player since Katie Britt also notched seven against Vermont on April 23, 2002. Hennessey notched her fourth hat trick of the season and the sixth of her career. She helped lead Holy Cross to its highest single-game goal total since 1999. Hennessey earns her first Offensive Player of the Week award after being named Midfield Player of the Week earlier in the year. She is the first student-athlete this season to capture both awards.
MIDFIELD PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ANA WHITE, LAFAYETTE So., M, Swarthmore, Pa.
White is named Patriot League Midfield Player of the Week for the fourth time this season and sixth in her career after playing an outstanding all-around game to lead Lafayette to a crucial 13-12 win at American on Saturday. White recorded four goals and an assist with five ground balls, seven draw controls and four caused turnovers as the Leopards earned the victory to even their Patriot League mark at 2-2. The four goals matched a season high. White leads the Patriot League with 90 draw controls, just 12 off the single-season record.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MICHELLE VERBEECK, NAVY Jr., G, Wading River, N.Y.
Verbeeck played brilliantly in the first start of her career, making seven saves on 13 shots to lead the Mids to an 8-6 win at Colgate on Saturday. The victory sealed Navy's fifth consecutive Patriot League Tournament berth and put the Mids within one win of claiming the top seed and right to host in the postseason. Verbeeck improved to 4-0 against Colgate and 3-0 for the season, and leads the Patriot League with a 7.72 goals against average and .505 save percentage. She has played roughly 40 percent of Navy's goalie minutes for the season, and went the full 60 against the Raiders. Verbeeck is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
LAURA RYAN, HOLY CROSS Fr., M, Stirling, N.J.
Ryan scored a season-high six goals to contribute to Holy Cross' outburst in a 20-5 win over Bucknell on Saturday. She also added three ground balls, four draw controls and two caused turnovers in the game. It was her fourth-straight effort of three goals or more, and she has scored 19 goals over the last four games. Ryan leads the Crusaders with 31 goals and is tied with 36 points, both the most for a Crusader freshman since 2007. She earns her first Rookie of the Week award, becoming the first Crusader to claim the honor since 2010.
ADDIE GODFREY, LAFAYETTE Jr., A, Princeton, N.J.
Godfrey scored the game-winner with 1:30 left and had four goals overall in Lafayette's 13-12 win at American Saturday.
LEIGH ANN TORCIVIA, LEHIGH Sr., M, Rumson, N.J.
Torcivia had a goal, four assists, three ground balls, four draw controls and two caused turnovers as Lehigh pulled out an 11-8 win over New Hampshire on Saturday.
EMILY STANKIEWICZ, AMERICAN Sr., M, Longmeadow, Mass.
Stankiewicz had three goals, four ground balls, six draw controls and three caused turnovers in a 13-12 loss to Lafayette on Saturday.
JENNIE BERGLIN, COLGATE Fr., G, Glen Head, N.Y.
Berglin made eight saves and helped hold Navy seven goals below its average in an 8-6 loss to the Mids on Saturday.